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Date of Award
Educational Specialist (EdS)
Department of Graduate Psychology
Eric W. Cowan
The relationship has become increasingly decentralized as counselors and psychotherapists continue to turn towards evidence-based techniques and manualized intervention strategies. Although counselors must learn to incorporate appropriate technique and therapeutic strategy during the process of therapy, these interventions must be predicated on an understanding of the real meeting between counselor and client. Dialogical theory, based on the philosophical anthropology of philosopher Martin Buber, emphasizes the client-counselor encounter as the fundamental source of healing in counseling and psychotherapy. This paper will explore the Dialogical principle found in Martin Buber’s philosophy of “I and Thou,” and how these can be related and applied to counseling and psychotherapy. The importance of the client-counselor relationship in the process of therapy will be explored. Buber’s philosophy will also be used to explain important aspects of personality and pathology development, the healing nature of meeting, how the dialogical principle applies to concepts in therapy like transference, empathy, resistance, and the process of change and transformation. Two brief case studies will elucidate Buber’s philosophical concepts within the realm of counseling and psychotherapy.
Martin, Matthew, "The dialogical principle in counseling and psychotherapy: An exploration of Martin Buber's "I and Thou"" (2017). Educational Specialist. 113.